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Questions Of Cash: Co-op says sorry after debit-card mix-up sparks a 'No' from ATMs


Q I hold a joint current account with my husband with The Co-operative Bank. I recently tried to withdraw cash from ATMs in London, but my requests were declined. When I checked the validity of the card, I found it had expired in September.

My husband spoke to the call centre and was told a new card had been sent on 2 July, and I should speak to them personally. When I did that, I was told my husband, who opened the account, should do this.

My husband called the centre again and was promised a new card would be sent within three days. I waited for two weeks and did not receive a card, so I sent a complaint and have not received an answer. I have about £500 deposited each month from the DWP [Department of Work and Pensions] but I cannot withdraw any cash without the debit card. RA, London.

A Your debit card has now been renewed and despatched to you. A spokesman for The Co-operative Bank says: "The customers had cards on their current account which were due to expire September. They moved their current account to one of our packaged accounts in July 2010 and were provided with replacement cards at that point. However, they had no record of receiving these cards and continued to use the existing cards.

When these expired in September, replacements were not sent because our records showed they already had valid cards available. When they called to query the expired card, there was some confusion at our end. However, we sent new cards and a letter of apology along with a £100 goodwill payment."

Q I have tried to move funds electronically three times between Nationwide accounts. While these exit my FlexAccount, they never make it into the MySave account and appear again back on the next FlexAccount statement. I have carefully checked the account numbers and spoken with Nationwide to make sure I am doing things correctly. How much time does Nationwide expect account holders should take to successfully move money? And how long should I have to wait for a written response to a fairly simple query? DH, by email.

A You closed your old MySave account, moving instead to a new MySave Online Plus account, which pays a higher rate of interest, earlier this year. Nationwide says that the problem in making the transfers has stemmed from you failing to update your reference numbers when you moved MySave accounts. It says that if you use the new account number and new reference number – which needs to be changed online – then the transfers will be processed correctly. It apologises if the explanations provided verbally to you have not been clear enough. It insists that your correspondence was answered promptly.

Q I booked a holiday to Majorca for my wife and myself in February. The full cost was £1,220.47. We were scheduled to go away on 28 May, but unexpectedly my mother died on 22 May in her nursing home. I had to make funeral arrangements, and so had to cancel the holiday.

When I claimed on my travel insurance with Mondial Assistance, I was shocked that it refused to accept liability, saying that my mother had an ongoing medical condition, pulmonary fibrosis. I took out the insurance to cover the unexpected and although I was aware that my mother had a health condition, I was not sufficiently informed to know that this was life-threatening. This condition had lasted several years. PM, Armagh.

A The issue is not that your mother's condition was, unknown to you, life-threatening, but that she died from an existing health condition of any type. According to Mondial, this invalidated your insurance cover. The company says that, having reviewed your claim, it concludes that this "was correctly declined in line with the policy purchased". The insurer adds: "It is clearly stated in the insurance policy document that the policyholder will not be covered for any claim arising from a medical condition of a relative if they are aware of the condition at the time the policy was issued... The policy states clearly that any claims arising from a known condition will not be covered."

Questions of Cash cannot give individual advice. But if you have a financial dilemma, we'll do our best to help. Please email us at: questionsofcash@independent.co.uk